God Always Keeps His PromisesJoel 2:28-32
The Need For the Spirit
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Gather for me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them, and bring them to the tent of meeting, and let them take their stand there with you. And I will come down and talk with you there. And I will take some of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them, and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, so that you may not bear it yourself alone. – Numbers 11:16-17 (ESV)
The final event at the Ringling Brothers’ Circus was always the high-wire act of the Flying Wallendas. The finale consisted of a four-level pyramid formation. The Wallendas kept audiences holding their breath with this daring feat. One evening, however, young Dede Wallenda, part of the pyramid’s bottom row, began to wobble. He cried out, “I cannot hold on any longer!” As he fell, the entire pyramid collapsed. Several of his brothers were crippled for life, and one died.
As he led the people, Moses must have feared that he too might collapse. Today’s passage, however, shows that Moses took this intense pressure to the Lord … and the Lord provided a safety net. (Today in the Word)
The nation of Israel continually complained about the blessings of God. They were in danger of facing God’s judgment again. Moses was in danger of losing control. God’s safety net was sending His Holy Spirit on seventy elders. These elders would need the Spirit of God to help Moses and to help God’s people.
Even today, the problems of the world can only be solved by the Spirit and the power of God. The world has problems that are bigger than we are and we need God’s help. Have you felt like you might collapse recently? Who are some of the Spirit-filled leaders you believe God has given our Second family and our nation to help guide us through this time?
Praise God for the leaders around us who are Spirit-led leaders. Pray that our church leaders would be Spirit-led and our community leaders would be Spirit-led and our national leaders would be Spirit-led.
Everyone’s Need for the Spirit
But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!” – Numbers 11:29 (ESV)
It’s amazing what you can haul with a bicycle. An average adult with a specialized trailer (and a bit of determination) can use a bicycle to tow up to 300 pounds at 10 mph. There’s just one problem: Hauling a heavier load means moving more slowly. A person hauling 600 pounds of work equipment or personal possessions would only be able to move at a pace of 8 miles in one hour. (Jennifer Benson Schuldt)
In Numbers 11, Moses realized that even seventy Spirit-filled elders were not enough to carry the load of leading God’s people. Pastor Jim shared that Moses imagined a day when he’s not the only one who has the Spirit. He imagined a day when “all” God’s people would have God’s Spirit on them.
Today is Election Day, if everyone was led by the Spirit of God, how do you believe it would affect the condition of our nation? How would it affect your home, work, and church? What loads are you carrying that you need God’s help?
Thank God for the privilege of living in a country that was founded on so many biblical principles. Pray that our leaders that are elected today would fear God and be led by the Spirit.
Promise of the Spirit
“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit.– Joel 2:28-29 (ESV)
David Hallmun writes, “When my daughter Cynthia was a little girl, we lived in Odessa, TX. We made one of the pilgrimages that we did from time to time to see my wife, Rosemary’s family. Rosemary’s brother, Michael was in town at the time from the Navy. Now in West Texas, rain is a beautiful thing. We got one of those rain-during-the-day sunshine showers. Michael immediately grabbed his niece’s hand and walked outside and said, ‘Smell the rain, Cynthia! Smell the rain!’ Even as I relay this anecdote to you, I can smell the rain, just as I did that day over 30 years ago.”
God told the prophet, Joel, that a day was coming when He would “pour out” His Spirit on all flesh. The word used for “pour” signifies rich abundance, like a rain-fall or water-fall. The great material blessings promised in the previous verses are now followed by great spiritual blessings in Joel 2:28-29. This spiritual blessing was a result of their faith response of repentance.
These verses refer especially to the future day of the Lord, but Peter’s use of them at Pentecost suggests that they have a spiritual application today. How much time do you give in thinking about the Holy Spirit? How have you seen God reward your faith with a shower of spiritual blessings?
Use Brian Bell’s list of benefits of the Holy Spirit to guide you in a time of praise and prayer: He convicts us; He transforms us; He fills us; He makes us overcomers; He gifts us; He sends us; He teaches us; He sanctifies us; He illuminates us; He baptizes us, and He brings us comfort!
Promise of the Spirit Pt. 2
And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls. – Joel 2:32 (ESV)
One Sunday morning the minister asked the congregation, “Whoever wants to go to heaven, stand up!” Everyone stood except one man sleeping in the back of the church. When the preacher told them they could sit down he asked the question, “Anyone who wants to go to hell, stand up!” About that time the sleeping man woke up and stood up. As he looked around he realized he was the only one standing in the congregation and he yelled to the preacher, “I don’t know what we are voting for, but it appears you and I are the only ones for it.”
God told Moses that “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord” will be saved. With the promise to save people came the promise to send God’s Spirit. Some versions say “whoever calls.” The English pronoun “whoever” means someone or anyone who does a particular thing or is in a particular situation; no matter who; regardless of who; person: no matter who. In other words, the door of salvation by grace through faith is wide open no matter who you are, where you were born, what race you are, or what horrendous sin you have committed. The blood of Jesus is sufficient to provide full atonement for the sins of whoever calls on His Name.
Joel 2:32 is one of the greatest promises in all of Scripture. If Joel 2:32 is such a great promise to anyone who believes, why do you think more people don’t believe? When did you first call out to God to save you? If you haven’t, call out today to God in faith and repentance.
Praise God for loving the entire world. Thank Him for inviting anyone who wants a relationship with Him to have salvation. Pray for those you know who still have not called out to God for salvation.
Fulfillment the Promise
When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. – Acts 2:2-4 (ESV)
The operation was the largest single-day invasion of all time. Just under 200,000 Allied naval and merchant navy personnel delivered over 130,000 troops along a stretch of the Normandy coast in France. They, in turn, were supported by 12,000 aircraft flying 14,000 sorties. These invaders’ goal was to get past the well-entrenched German army that was 250,000 troops strong. June 6th, 1944, “D-Day” as we now simply call it, was a pivotal day in the Second World War. It opened the way for the destruction of the Nazis and the deliverance of Europe. (Daniel Habben)
When God unleashed His Spirit on the day of Pentecost, it would forever empower and change the life of the church. The church was now equipped to live out its faith and to do battle with the enemy. John MacArthur writes, “The pouring out of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost was not a fulfillment(of Joel 2), but a preview and sample of the Spirit’s power and work to be released fully and finally in the Messiah’s kingdom after the Day of the Lord.”
“They were all together in one place…and they were filled with the Holy Spirit.” This would be a great “working description” of our local church. Obviously, Pentecost was unique and was a once for all time occurrence, but the pattern of all believers filled with the Spirit on any given Sunday should be the goal of every congregation! In what ways do you believe our Second family is experiencing the unity that God intends for us? What are some of the evidence of the Spirit of God working through your life and the life of our church?
Praise God for fulfilling His promise to send the Holy Spirit to anyone who would call out to Him for salvation. Ask God to give our church an even greater sense of unity and the Spirit’s power.